“Nine personalities, nine different shades” United Colors of Benetton’s Spring Summer 2013 Campaign

  • Freya Hill

What’s a sealed packet of Skittles and a Benetton ad campaign got in common? Bright, exploding, jaw-dropping tones. Colours that will, shall we say, make a rainbow jealous.

And thanks to their latest advertising idea (which involves working with nine multi-cultured models) the United Colors of Benetton Spring Summer 2013 promotion proves to be no different. In fact, we think it’s brighter than the Dulux head office boardroom.

Working with men and woman who were raised as far apart as America, Sudan and London (plus a chef and an ex boxer who you may recognize from Rihanna’s recent video), the brand’s concept clearly evolves around eye-popping colour. The clothes, now referred to as the ‘bright basics’, support the self-titled company’s driving force, and as always, modeled by such a variety of ethnicities, has caused some level of political debate.

In the words of Benetton themselves, “We chose a team of world citizens to share the story of our passion, our thirst for innovation, and our desire to reach out to the world. Nine personalities, nine different shades, to paint our future.
Nine ambassadors for life and for style, distinguished by their multiculturalism, cosmopolitan spirit and social commitment, shared their interpretation of colour; a chromatic reflection of the talent and character which led them into the global limelight.”

So we ask you, future faces of our editorial world, modeling junkies, what do you think of the campaign that requires sunglasses as you view?

Whilst you ponder over that one, here’s a quick low down on the faces that you’ll see jumping out from the spreads.

Charlotte Free

If you’re not familiar with the name, keep your eyes peeled for candy floss coloured hair. Over a formidable six month period, American model Free went from punky kid to desirable fashion icon, finding herself signed to IMG Models one week after being scouted. Catwalk wise, you’ve seen her at Vivienne Westwood and Topshop Unique, editorially speaking, Vogue, Love, Dazed, V and i-D. The list could go on but we’ll restrain ourselves. You might like to know though that she’s only 5’7”. Little ladies, there’s still hope for you yet.

Hanaa Ben Abdesslem

If you like Project Runway, you’ll love this story. Abdesslem took her first fashion steps in the Lebanese TV equivalent “Mission Fashion”. Scooping second price she soon made connections with Carine Roitfeld and alas (who does this woman not know?) she ended up exclusively modeling for Givenchy’s AW 10/11 presentation. Having now walked for Chanel, Hermes, Ralph Lauren and more, Abdesslem is well on her way to accomplishing her mission of inspiring Arab woman to follow their dreams.

Kiera Chaplin

Cool name? You’d be right in thinking she’s related to Charlie. Professionally speaking Chaplin’s pretty impressive too. When it comes to magazines she’s been associated with Vogue, Harper’s and Elle since a young age, she’s also featured in Tommy Hilfiger, Asprey and Karl Lagerfeld campaigns. You might be interested in knowing that GQ listed her as the seventh sexist woman and sensitively speaking, that she’s the first Amy Winehouse Foundation world ambassador.

Elettra Weidemann

Born to modeling parents, American model Weidemann (who has a Masters in Biomedicine) has featured with Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap, Vogue, Harper’s and since 2006, Lancome. Along with her fiancé she founded ‘One Frickin Day’, a charity that supports ‘ecological and durable natural resources’.

Dudley O’Shaugnessy

Yes, this is the boy that transpired as Rihanna’s ‘We Found Love’ love interest. At 23 and with an impressive backlog of boxing achievements filling up his CV, this is a man now pursuing a modeling career. Check him out walking for Fred Perry and Oswald Boateng.

Alek Wek

What a face, what a smile. And thanks to Elle 1997, what an impact on the industry. As you can imagine, having been a young girl that made news in America after fleeing from Sudan to escape the civil war, this woman has an impressive story to tell and an even more powerful set of beliefs to fight for. That said, that hasn’t stopped her from pursuing a modeling career. Walking for Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen and Chanel, featuring with Gap, Banana Republic and Michael Kors, there’s no stopping this “Model of the Decade” (as titled by i–D Magazine).

Mario Galla

Piercing blue eyes and strong facial features, it’s unsurprising that Galla has collaborated with brands including Hugo Boss. There’s more to him than good looks though; he has gained recognition for personal and social strength as a model that uses an artificial leg.

Lea T

Labelled as a ‘fashion favourite’, Brazilian model Lea T became the face of Givenchy in 2010. Since, she has posed for Vogue, Interview and Love Magazine, the latter seeing her on the front-page kissing Kate Moss. In 2012 Lea T underwent surgery, she was actually born a male.

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Posted by Freya Hill

Freya is been writing for many years on fashion and modelling. Her hands are a bit too wrinkly for a 23 year old and she has worked with MTV, New Look and Vauxhall Fashion Scout.